Monday, June 14, 2004

God bless America

Again, instead of hitting hard on the issue, the Supreme Court was being evasive. In the case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, in which a California atheist challenged the constitutionality of phrase "one nation, under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Court voted 8-0 with an abstention from Justice Scalia, ruling that the petitioner lacks standing to bring the case on behalf of his daughter.

Rather than focusing on the constitutionality of the Pledge, the Court claimed that Newdow does not have sufficient custody of the child to qualify as her legal representative. This is not the first time the Court acted like a wimp by sidestepping the issue. What good is it to say "You can't bring this lawsuit and we're not discussing this today?" That's why I think Rehnquist was more gutsy by writing a separate opinion to say that the pledge as recited by schoolchildren does not violate the Constitution.

And it's probably true. This country was founded upon Christian values. While we should respect the separation of church and state, customs and tradition go a long way. If we used Newdow's logic, then we should get rid of "In God we trust" on all the dollar bills, refrain from saying "God bless America," and stop saying "My God" after witnessing a startling event. That is pure nonsense!

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